Opening in Australian cinemas on March 26, A Little Chaos sees Alan Rickman direct Academy Award Winner Kate Winslet through a walk amongst a garden set in France.
Dancing between drama, design and the politics of French court in 1682, the film sees Sabine (Winslet) invited to design a garden for King Louis XIV (Rickman), but not everyone is convinced her forward-thinking nature is what is needed for the Palace of Versailles.
“This is a human, and in many ways very modern, story,” Rickman says.
“Alison Deegan’s script landed unannounced in my letter box.
“As I read it, I was struck by Alison’s deep knowledge of the subject matter, by her incredibly refreshing use of language, and by her very personal take on the interplay between men and women.
“Alison and I had worked on the script at length, and then [screenwriter] Jeremy Brock joined, but he and I talked about structure more than anything else.
“The dialogue is still pretty much Alison’s,” he says.
Working together on Sense and Sensibility, Kate Winslet says herself and Alan Rickman had stayed in touch since then and she was “naturally intrigued” to join the cast.
“I knew that our friends Emma Thompson and Phyllida Law had had a wonderful time when Alan directed them in The Winter Guest, so I was naturally intrigued to join with him on this.”
The extraordinary world of landscape and garden design was at the heart of A Little Chaos, but Rickman says it was mostly architectural during the time period of the film.
“If you look at any drawings, etchings, or illustrations of the time, flowers were not featuring,” he says.
“It was all architectural.
“Everything was made on such a huge scale: vistas, lakes, fountains, avenues.
“Louis XIV had so much power that he could decide to move the entire court out of the Louvre, build a palace at Versailles and then demand the greatest gardens that had ever been built in the world – all on swampland.”
The film opens to Australian audiences March 26 and also stars Matthias Schoenarts and Stanley Tucci.
A Little Chaos
March 26, Australia wide